Sarah Dale's title "Something Wicked" came in at number 7 in the Best Indie Books Title of 2018
It’s 1983. Angie, Jenny and David are riding bikes, watching MTV and looking forward to summer vacation before junior high. Lincoln, Nebraska is a pretty quiet place to grow up, and when the kids take off at 5:00 am to deliver the newspapers on Jenny’s route, they aren’t expecting trouble. So, when a creature straight out of a horror movie appears, the kids are forced to draw on their wits, their strength, and most of all their friendship to survive.
Something Wicked is the first of seven stories, drawn from Angie’s diaries. Kept safely hidden for decades, they tell how the kids spent their teenage years - working with their mentor, Mr. Rakow, and Jenny’s mom who dabbles in witchcraft, to uncover their powers and battle the forces of darkness that menace their hometown.
From the Journals of Angie Parsons
I don’t really know if I should be doing this, writing everything down. Mr. Rakow always said that since not everyone is able to see the evils we battle, being transparent about what we do would turn into a massive legal, moral and political disaster. I’ve always agreed with this assessment. I absolutely understand the importance of our work, and the chaos that would result if there weren’t people like us who are freely able to fight on the front lines.
But, what about the future? Won’t our experiences help the next ‘Cuspers’ or ‘soldiers’ or whatever they call themselves? As far as I’m concerned, they’re going to need all the help they can get. The bad guys, the angry ghosts, the demons, the monsters – they aren’t ever going to quit coming at us.
So I’m writing it down. I’m compiling the notes and scribbles from my journals into a passably coherent narrative, in the hopes that it can be used to help future demon fighters.
But I can’t pretend that’s all of it.
This is our story. This was our childhood. These are the things that shaped us, me and Jenny and David, into the adults we became. I don’t know if it makes us heroes, or crazy, or outlaws or what, but it’s our story, and it’s up to me to tell it.
So here goes.
My name is Angie Parsons. My best friends were, and always will be, Jennifer Howe and David Owens. The summer before junior high, the three of us were forcibly indoctrinated into a part of our world that stays unseen by most, but not all people. Some of us can see. Some of us can’t help but see.
We were lucky. Mr. Rakow was already looking out for us, and when it happened, he was there to help. He and Jenny’s mom, Lorraine, showed us what we could do, helped us learn our strengths. They helped us not only survive, but taught us how to help other people, too.
It changed us, of course. We grew up in a secret war zone. We had to face truths other kids didn’t. At the same time, we were stuck facing the truths every kid does. From zits to zombies, even the luckiest kid doesn’t get through junior high and high school unscathed. Our job added a little extra life-threatening danger to the whole thing.
Ok, maybe a lot.
There were plenty of times we wanted to quit. Just back out of the whole mess and be normal. I realize now, a whole lot of what I wrote in these journals was my struggle to determine what kind of a person I am, and why I was making these – sometimes spectacularly stupid – life choices.
The journey isn’t over yet, so I can’t tell you how it ends. But, this is how it begins.